An Ultrasound in Your Living Room?

January 2, 2013  |  
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Plenty of moms remember the anxious moments in the doctor’s office before their first ultrasound. The cold gel, breath holding, and then the funny little splotches on the monitor that showed your bundle of joy. A new crop of moms are bringing the experience home to share with the whole family with at-home ultrasounds, MSNBC report.

Many parents eager to share the joy of their growing family are now seeking out companies like Baby Face and More, who dispatch ultrasonographers to home. Other companies help families build an entire party around the screening. For most parents, these ultrasounds aren’t the first time they’re seeing baby but they often do it again, without the necessary prescription, so everyone can see baby at the same time. Portable ultrasound companies are finding that a lot of their appointments are gender reveals.

However, the FDA hasn’t approved the ultrasound equipment used for these private, nonmedical screenings, because the long-term effects of ultrasound technology are still unknown. There’s no radiation involved so doctors don’t think there’s a risk but at this point there’s no real way to be sure.

Some doctors warn against the downsides of ultrasounds in front of the whole family. Used for checking for chromosomal disorders, fetal weight and other health metrics, an ultrasound could give bad news. Ultrasonographers also aren’t equipped to analyze the sonogram and make diagnoses the way doctors are. A family gathering around to look at tiny and fingers and toes may not know the baby is unhealthy until much later on.

So far, Connecticut is the only state that has made it illegal for mothers to get (and doctors to give) ultrasounds that aren’t medically necessary.

Would you have an at-home ultrasound with family and friends?

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